Nominations Now Open For Laboratory Innovators

THE DARK REPORT again seeks nominations recognizing innovative laboratory executives

CEO SUMMARY: Nominations are now open as THE DARK REPORT seeks to identify laboratory executives who deserve recognition. Our annual awards program honors the innovators and leaders within the clinical laboratory industry who push the boundaries of management change and show us how to best respond to the challenges of managed healthcare.

WITH 1998 FAST APPROACHING, it is time to gather nominations for THE DARK REPORT Movers and Shakers Awards. It is the opportunity to honor 1997’s most innovative and far-sighted administrators and pathologists.

Within the laboratory industry, THE DARK REPORT is unique in its attempts each year to smoke out the little-known movers and shakers. These are frequently unheralded executives actively advancing the art of laboratory management beyond the curve. These individuals overturn the status quo in their quest to create high-performance laboratories.

“Historically, technical expertise, consistent service and new laboratory technology tended to be the success factors separating exceptional laboratories from their peers,” stated Robert Michel, Editor-In-Chief of THE DARK REPORT. “That is no longer the case. Increasingly it is management skill and executive leadership which distinguishes the excellent laboratory from its competitors.”

Six broad criteria are used to evaluate nominees: leadership, strategic thinking, people skills, innovation, vision, and the ability to make things happen. “These criteria are what make the awards unique,”stated Michel. “We seek to acknowledge that elusive something that is an uncommon confluence of ability, savvy, charisma and energy. These people dare to be different. They may even be iconoclastic when necessary.”

“Movers and Shakers are the executives who show us innovative new ways to lead our laboratories into the future.”
—Robert L. Michel

Enclosed with this issue of THE DARK REPORT is a nomination ballot which can be faxed directly to our offices. (Fax: 503-699-0969.) Nominations will be accepted through November 30, 1997. Award winners will be announced after the New Year.

“Last year’s winners perfectly illustrate the type of management innovation and leadership we seek to recognize and honor,” noted Michel. “For example, among the three national laboratories, Ken Freeman, CEO of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated was recognized. He is successfully introducing quality management principles into the $1.7 billion laboratory.

“During 1997, Freeman boldly applied the 80/20 Rule to thousands of unprofitable physician accounts. He restructured his Phoenix laboratory division into a joint venture with Sonora Laboratory Sciences and gave Sonora operational leadership. Moreover, Quest has been forthcoming and cooperative with THE DARK REPORT and other lab industry publications to explain the management strategies behind these activities.

“Contrast Freeman’s management leadership with Dr. Bruce Friedman’s contributions from the academic environment. Friedman, another 1997 award winner, continues to foster innovation and sharing of worthwhile LIS technology through his annual AIMCL conference at the University of Michigan every May.

Laboratory Innovation

“Hospital laboratory administrators recognized how 1997 award winner David Beckwith, Ph.D. quietly and competently consolidated two hospital laboratories in the Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He then proceeded to develop a cost-effective platform to introduce total laboratory automation into his new off-site core laboratory.

“These examples from last year’s award winners amply illustrate the diverse ways that management innovation can contribute to helping every laboratory become more productive and a better asset to the clinicians it serves.”

Nominations will be accepted through November 30, 1997. Details of the nomination process appear on each ballot enclosed with this issue. The selection panel will review nominations and award winners will be announced in January, 1998.

“We are adding an important category to this year’s awards process,” stated Michel. “It is recognition of those laboratory industry vendors creating some type of product or service which directly enhances management capabilities within the clinical laboratory. This vendor recognition is not based on the technology itself, but its positive impact on improving the management and administration of the clinical laboratory.

“These awards recognize those individuals who bring innovative management techniques to clinical laboratories. They have usually taken considerable political and career risks to inaugurate change. But in the process, they improve the financial performance of their laboratory, enhance job security for their staff and improve laboratory services to the clinicians in their community.”

Broad-Based Criteria Support Award Goals

IN CONSIDERING NOMINATIONS, laboratory executives are encouraged to identify innovation and management success in a variety of settings. Hospital laboratories, national laboratories, regional laboratories and academic laboratories are all sources for new management models.

Six criteria for award selection are used: leadership, strategic thinking, people skills, innovation, vision and the ability to make things happen.

The accomplishments of the nominees should be documented with financial, productivity and client satisfaction measurements which show the performance of the laboratory before and after the management changes were implemented.

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